‘Nakedly partisan’: Charlie Crist blasts Ron DeSantis proposal to alter Florida voting laws

charlie crist
Crist echoed the sentiments of critics, calling the proposed election changes a form of voter suppression.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is condemning Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recently announced proposal to make sweeping changes to Florida’s election laws. 

The Governor announced the proposed measures Friday, which included everything from drop box watchers to election observers and more, in an effort he believes would increase election security.

Crist called the proposed election changes a form of voter suppression.

“Florida’s 2020 election was historic — record-breaking turnout and virtually no issues,” Crist said in a statement. “It was by all accounts a success, and we should be building on it by making it easier for Floridians to make their voices heard — not harder.”

Some measures put forward by the Governor Friday included establishing a law against mailing unsolicited ballots, as well as strengthening the signature verification process. It should be noted current Florida law only allows elections offices to mail absentee ballots to voters upon their requests.

The Governor also questioned the need for copious amounts of drop boxes scattered around rural parts of the state, and advocated for 24/7 drop box watchers to prevent people from “harvesting and destroying ballots.”

“Governor DeSantis’ proposal goes in the wrong direction, it’s a nakedly partisan political play,” Crist said in a statement. “It shouldn’t become law, and if we had a fully functioning Voting Rights Act, it would be thrown out. And on that score, Congress should pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act as soon as possible. Our leaders should be working for the people, not their own partisan political interests.”

Crist also added that the proposal put forth by DeSantis addresses many of the false election claims propagated by former President Donald Trump following his loss in the 2020 presidential election. 

The Congressman argued the measures would make it more difficult to vote by mail, attack safe and convenient ballot drop boxes, target nonpartisan voter participation programs and double down on “what does not work” in Florida’s signature matching program.

Crist’s criticism of DeSantis comes amid talks of the Democrat as a potential gubernatorial candidate next year. While the Congressman has not made any clear decisions yet, he has said he is not ruling out challenging DeSantis next year. Crist formerly served as the Governor from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


5 comments

  • Jeff Ward

    February 20, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why are we doing this silly naked voter suppression law to make it more difficult to vote by mail and eliminating drop box locations? Is it because Desantis believes Trump won the 2020 national election? Or because he wants to discourage the black and brown from voting in the Guv’s 2022 election? For vaccines, these voters have been told to sit in the back of the bus. They may want a new Guv.

  • Ron Ogden

    February 20, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    This is Chain Gang Charlie’s opening campaign statement. You can expect a “Crist for Governor” press release to appear here at least once a week between now and November 2022. And his acolytes are waiting in the wings to pour forth their Huzzahs! at every peep out of the man who bailed on his party the moment it was convenient and who even the SPT identified as, at best, a part time governor. May no mistake: Charlie doesn’t want to be governor again (he didn’t really want to be the first time). He wants to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2024 and Tallahassee is the opening gate for that campaign.

    • JY

      February 21, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      I notice your post seems to be a rant against Crist and has nothing to do with the actual report.

      To comment as if you know his thoughts and desires is pretty foolish if you’re just another disgruntled armchair observer and have no contact with the man.

      • Ron Ogden

        February 21, 2021 at 4:31 pm

        I have known Charlie personally since 1987. Everyone who follows public affairs here knows Charlie and his basic motivations. He is a very likeable guy and probably the most talented politician this county has ever produced–but as a public servant, uh, no thankee. As I said, even the newspaper, who fawns over him, has taken an unblinking look at Charlie and found that, as a fundraiser and a campaigner his is without parallel, but as a legislator and an executive and administrator, he simply doesn’t cut it. Like most media outlets, this blog is well known for advocating one side of a political issue. Keep track in every given week of the number of positive articles that appear about Democrats and the number of negative articles that appear about Republicans. Keep a close count, and you will see what I mean.

  • Buddy Wilcox

    February 24, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Ron Ogden,you are so right. Charlie needs to redo his resume’ for a non government job. Maybe, a greeter at Walmart would suit him.

Comments are closed.


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